You may have never heard of steampunk but you probably have seen its influence in recent fashion trends without realizing it. Steampunk is a term that refers to a particular genre of science fiction or fantasy that is inspired by the designs of the 19th century and features steam-powered machinery. What was once a niche culture is beginning to grow in popularity and its influences are starting to be seen in mainstream fashion.
Steampunk takes its inspirations from either Victorian England or the American Wild West but incorporates some of today’s modern technologies in a different format. For example, the fashions from either of these genres are mashed up with retro or modified technology to create an effective twist making it more sci-fi than Victorian. For the ladies, think corsets, layered or gathered skirts, coupled with body armour and elaborate over-sized jewellery that could also have a functional use. For men, think of waistcoats, cravats, Victorian hats, uniforms combined with body armour pieces, oversized watches, belts and eyepieces such as goggles or monocles.
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Its fun, quirky, and will make you stand out in a crowd but if you aren’t brave enough to go full on steampunk then why not have a key piece in your wardrobe that gives homage to it. A corseted dress with a gathered skirt is featured in many collections and is a flattering addition to any wardrobe. After all, corsets were a big fashion trend in Spring/Summer 2017, with top brands including Prada and Gucci showcasing them. Or select an oversized, industrialized styled piece of jewellery that looks like it has been created from a collection of spare parts to form a stand out piece – the way that Balenciaga and Isabel Marant did recently.
But fashion is not the only sector that is seeing the influence of this movement as technology has started to take on this style twist by making modern appliances appear more old-fashioned and compiled from an assortment of components. Films, music, and lifestyle are also incorporating steampunk into them as the aesthetics are very popular in gaming and pop culture. There are online games that are new for 2017 that pays homage to this culture, such as Steampunk Heroes, which features an alternative world that is powered by steam, themed characters, and gadgets that will draw you into the story. A slot game like this is just one of the ways you can experience the steampunk reality.
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There are also communities dedicated to steampunk on Second Life where you can immerse yourself in this fantasy world by visiting one of the many themed locations. These destinations create a whole new reality for its visitors to explore and become a character in their role play, somewhat similar to the West World TV dramatization that used role play and the American Wild West to create a fantasy world.
Steampunk really is a subculture that goes beyond just fashion; it is a whole lifestyle which includes music, films, books, gaming and role-plays. Followers of steampunk are people who are original, creative, set themselves apart from others through their style and attitude as well as the gadgets that they use or wear.